If you’re like me, you really enjoy having visual aids at the gaming table. While I enjoy 3D terrain made by companies like Dwarven Forge and Mantic Games, their products are both expensive and tedious to transport and set up. These products require a lot of financial investment if you’d like to create an engaging and reflexive tabletop experience.
So what’s the solution to this conundrum?
This is where the Index Card RPG (ICRPG) comes into play (pun intended). An easy to learn game in its own right, what I love most about ICRPG is just how relevant it’s become in ALL of the RPGs I play.
What is the Index Card RPG? ICRPG is a simple, easy to learn take on classic games that gives players tools to tell stories and create dynamic and responsive challenges. While there are many simple systems like Black Hack and pretty much any Powered by the Apocalypse Game, what intrigued me most about this particular product was applicability of the namesake card sets. There are currently four volumes of the ICRPG card sets. Volumes 1 & 2 feature sword & sorcery-themed art while volumes 3 & 4 feature science fiction and weird west respectively. Each set features 100 unique pieces of art that can be cut out for use as locations, props, story building tools, and more! As a professional GM, I’ve found myself playing games with clients around the city. In 2018, I ran 5 in-person sessions PER WEEK across the Greater Toronto Area! Transporting and setting up complicated terrain is not only costly and a hassle for a mobile GM, but also incredibly limiting.
Say I’d like to set a game in a small town. I would absolutely LOVE to use a Dwarven Forge City Builder set, but that’ll set me back several hundred dollars. Alternatively, I could draw the entire town (or important sections) on a grid. If only I had the money and artistic talent. This is why I love ICRPG cards – they allow me to focus on the story while still providing a cool visual experience for players. As I narrate and describe a town to the table, I lay out individual cards – the fountain, the gates, the market stalls, the blacksmith, etc. In a matter of minutes, I have the entire town laid out for everyone at the table! For players that like using miniatures, I have them place their pieces on the icon cards themselves. The best part is that the “set up” is all part of the narrative experience. No time is wasted, and every moment is spent telling stories together.
Stay curious and game on!
Daniel Kwan is a storyteller, media professional, and game designer based in Toronto, Canada. He is one of the co-founders of Level Up Gaming, an organization that provides individuals with autism and other disabilities opportunities to develop their social skills through group gaming experiences. His first educational RPG, Zany Zoo, was released in 2018. He is currently working on Ross Rifles, a Powered by the Apocalypse RPG about the lives and experiences of Canadian soldiers stationed on the Western Front during the First World War. Daniel co-hosts the Asians Represent! podcast on the One Shot Network.
Learn more about the Index Card RPG at https://www.icrpg.com/
Index Card RPG vol. 1 – https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/201214/INDEX-CARD-RPG-Vol-1?manufacturers_id=10923
Index Card RPG vol. 2 – https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204385/INDEX-CARD-RPG-Vol-2?manufacturers_id=10923
Index Card RPG vol. 3 – https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/214622/INDEX-CARD-RPG-Vol-3?manufacturers_id=10923
Index Card RPG vol. 4 – https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/243213/INDEX-CARD-RPG-Vol-4?manufacturers_id=10923